Facebook offered up an unexpected treasure today. My little friend Scottie (6'4" and at the time I knew him you wouldn't believe the weight) was one of those rare companions who could be depended on to encourage bad ideas, support a reckless course of action and carry secrets to the grave. We have enough dirt on each other to assure there will be no survivors if it either of us starts talking.
Scott left Texas a few years ago and we had lost touch until Facebook. Today I found this:
I am pleased to report that the bean has been successfully extracted from X ear. It will, of course, be saved and produced at inopportune moments throughout the remainder of his life. :)
I have with held the lad's name as I am a firm believer that it is the parent's duty to embarrass their children. For other adults to do it feels like bullying. Still, this simple statement triggered a flood of memories.
I was already familur with the Winnemucca Nevada emergency room. I still sported the walking cast from my first (and thankfully only) adventure in broken bones. I had the names of friends and family spread across it's surface.
Since I wasn't able to move around as much as usual Mom had brought me some supplies to help pass the time. There were comic books, a new coloring book and crayons, and a pea shooter.
You need to understand I was never one of those punks that sat in class shooting spit wads at their classmates in the front of the room. I was the hapless kid that got caught the first time I chunked my eraser back at them after half a day of being the target.
I had the better part of a week with the pea shooter before the horrible accident. My little brother and I had gone to bed and I was doing the fiddeling kids do prior to drooping off to sleep. In my case, I was playing with a pea shooter pea.
Inquiring minds want to know. Will the pea shooter pea fit into a seven year olds ear? Yes it will. Will it come back out? I'm sure it will come back out. It's got to come out.
IT WON'T COME OUT!
I tried everything my desperate seven year old mind could think of. Nothing. So what happened if it stayed there? I had it on good authority it would take root and grow. That couldn't be good. And what if it took roots and my Dad had to pull it out? I was sure he could, he was really big! I was also sure it would hurt!
My Grand Parents could fix this. Problem, how could they get to Winnemucca from the Texas Panhandle before my folks woke up in the morning? Then I remembered I didn't know how to dial a long distance telephone number. Well, there was only one thing to do. I had to tell my Mom and Dad. They would know what to do, they knew everything.
Problem, telling my folks I had done something stupid. Worst problem, everyone was in bed. I would have to wake them up to tell them I did something stupid. With my life flashing before my eyes I clumped down the hall with my walking cast to face my doom.
I don't recall either of my parents laughing. Both got miles of amusment out of it later but that night they kept strait faces - after a fashion. They had more ideas about how to get the pea out than I had. My Dad had all kinds of ideas involving power tools that mom promptly shot down. I'm about half convinced that he was kidding, and Mom wouldn't let him do it.
At long last Dad called the emergency room and was told to bring me in. Mom stayed with the other kids while Dad took me to the Doctor that had set my leg.
Once we reached the emergence room things were anti-climatic. We were in the exam room less than a minute when the Doc. popped the pea out of my ear. I learned that day having the right tool is everything. The doctor told me not to go sticking things in my ear - I could break my ear drum. I never told anyone until tonight that I already did and thought I had.
There was no school the next day so the other kids were up when we got back home and Mom had hot chocolate ready. The night ended better than I would have thought possible. I was even allowed to keep the pea shooter.
I have written this for three reasons.
First, I was not the first kid in Winnemucca, Nevada to stick a pea shooter pea in my ear. The doctor told my Dad they averaged one child a day in the week the things had been on sale at TG&Y.
Second, I want Scott's son - known here as "X" - to know he was not the first kid to ever do that. I did it before his father was ever born.
Third, at some point in the future "X" will hear of this happening to another kid. It will be his turn to let that boy or girl know they are not the first to stick a pea shooter pea in their ear, and they will not be the last.